The New York Times: “Skirts for Men?”

New York Times (1984) - "Skirts for Men? Yes and No."The social acceptability of men wearing skirts is by no means a nascent subject, but has has anything really changed since the Industrial Revolution? In 1984, the New York Times ran this piece regarding a Paris fashion show featuring men in skirts that was, according to French designer David Hechter, “the most important thing to happen in fashion in the past 20 years!” Hechter was one of the first designers to break fashion norms previously “when it was scandal for women to wear pants.” Rodney Martin puts a sharper point on it: “It makes me feel free. It’s a statement by which I can say I am free to do whatever I want. It does cause hostility on the streets, though. Sometimes I keep my coat closed over my skirt so no one will see it. And I do have to sit differently. But it’s not about being a woman.”Continue Reading

Forthcoming Post

Dear readers and subscribers — I am beginning work on a new two-part post titled “Hyposissification and Hypermasculinization” that tries to tackle the egalitarian defect of fashion design. I’m asking for crowd-source help to gather examples of übermasculine figures in “skirted” attire (I’m thinking of warrior archetypes such as from graphic novels or movies such as The 300, This is Sparta, Gladiator, etc, apart from kilt motifs of, say, Braveheart). Please comment or email me. Many thanks.

What’s Your Damage, Anyway?

I was just reflecting on a past confrontation where a niece spewed unwarranted hate and vitriol (she’s a millennial, of course). In retrospect, I wish I had said something like I don’t know what your damage is, but what right have you to visit that damage upon me? A former pastor used to say that hurting people pretty much do two things consistently: 1) they are easily hurt by other people and 2) they easily hurt other people. When someone is blinded by psychic trauma or by a sense of social entitlement, it’s hard to say whether such a person could comprehend the truth, but it’s worth a shot.

Deconstructing Goliath

Malcolm Gladwell has an observant TED Talk deconstructing the image of Goliath. Gladwell’s ultimate thesis is that Goliath likely suffered acromegaly. This would account for Goliath’s size, but also afflicted Goliath with an Achillean visual deficit. Gladwell then premises that the story of David and Goliath should not be construed as one of a triumphant underdog, but rather one of clever strategy by a bold soul completely comfortable with being underestimated. I think Gladwell presents a truly edifying argument, but he also misses some other profoundly important considerations. Continue Reading

Joseph and Esther

For about two years now I’ve been incubating a post on Joseph’s words in Genesis 50:20 (“you meant evil against me but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”) There are a plenty of other stoic agents of change, but tonight I was struck by the similarity of Mordecai’s words to Esther: “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14 NKJV).